Monday, January 18, 2010

Readers Block: A bad start to 2010!

I began 2010 with the worst case of readers block I've had in years! There are reasons of course, unexpected health-related family crisis, work piled up after the Holidays, but I can usually read through these things and more. My husband says a bomb could go off and I could still read. As a matter of fact, reading usually helps me relieve stress and knowing myself after all these years, stress is something I can usually work through by using different methods. But not this time, not without my books.

From December 30, 2009 through January 15, 2010 I read a total of one book. ONE book! It took me a total of two weeks to finish said book -- a fabulous one by the way, so I knew it was not the book, it was obviously me. I don't remember the last time I went so long without reading, or without being able to read. It doesn't make me a very nice person to live with... no sir, it doesn't.

I have what I think of as an incredible "to be read" pile of books at home -- at least never having had one until two years ago, it is to me -- one I couldn't wait to get into this year. However, this "thing" whatever it is, hit me like a paralysis. I began and closed up a total of six books... nothing, nothing, nothing appealed. I couldn't even get into my favorite re-reads. Paralyzed, I was paralyzed!

My poor husband couldn't deal with me whining (yes, I was whining), about my inability to read, about how television programming is a disgrace, about well... everything, and told me to buy some new books as he was sure I would find one that would just do it! LOLOL, I think he was more desperate than I was to get me reading again, although he did enjoy my crazy spur of the moment baking. ;P

I bought books, ladies... books, books and more books. I'm ashamed to say that the past two weeks I lost control and just bought books! It's a good thing I had some Gift Certificates left over from the Holidays, and I found a bookstore going out of business selling books for 50% off, so I didn't spend as much as I could have... still, I bought books.

After ALL that, and buying ALL those books, Friday night after work (and after baking chocolate chip muffins) I picked up a "general fiction" book, no romance in it. Well, this book could be considered a few different things, a coming of age book, man's fiction, or YA set in a historical period (World War II). This is a book I already had on my TBR -- a book I purchased a few weeks earlier... "Last Days of Summer" by Steve Kluger. I began to just browse the book to see what it really was about and next thing I knew I was on page 169! AND, next thing I knew it was early morning and I had finished the book and I was crying my eyes out. Just crying.... Yes, the ending to this book is quite emotional, you'll need a few tissues before you're finished reading it, I guarantee it. However, I think I was so relieved that I'd actually finished a book in one sitting that I just couldn't stop myself from using more than a few tissues (drama queen that I am). I went to bed with a watery smile on my face and slept like a log!

The real test came on Saturday and Sunday, though. I chose a favorite re-read in a short format and finished it and THEN picked up another new book I wanted to read and by Sunday, I had finished that one too. So YES, the readers block has been broken! And, what a relief it is my friends... I cannot tell you (or maybe I can) how wonderful it feels to be able to get lost in those pages again.

Last Days of Summer is going to hold a special place on my bookshelf forever and ever. Thank you Mr. Kluger!


  1. So glad you got over your block, Hilcia! It can be so frustrating when that happens.

    Oh, I have Steve Kluger's Almost Like Being in Love in my TBR waiting for my Nook to arrive. I've been hearing such great things about his books via Nath and Tracy.

    Oh, retail therapy! Hope you have a few new books that will keep you entertained. :-)

  2. OMG, what a dramatic breaking of a readers block!! Good for you. I've never even heard of this author!!

  3. Renee, I'm quite relieved. That was not fun at all. I did get quite a few great books during this bout of retail therapy, but that's another post. :)

    I hope you enjoy Almost Like Being in Love. I can't recommend it enough.

    CJ... dramatic? Did I mention I can be a drama queen? *g*

    I purchased Kluger's entire fiction backlist after reading Almost Like Being in Love and falling in love with that book -- there's a review for it around here somewhere. I was just taken aback romance was not what did it for me this time. Interesting. ^_^

  4. Ugh, I wish there was a magic wand that we can use to banish the dreaded readers' block whenever it starts to come around. I'm so glad yours didn't last much longer! I know 2 weeks feels like forever though when you're so used to reading!

    Have you been able to read romance again? Or were the books you read after Last Days of Summer romances?

  5. Oh you poor thing! I guess it wouldn't make you feel any better if I've only read two books in 2010 and the first book I started around Christmas and only finished it in 2010? I also blame a family-health-crisis, but still... I'd rather have had a more productive start to the new year reading as well. I get cranky when I'm not doing well with reading, too.

    In any case, I'm glad you found your reading groove again and that you have some new books to choose from now, too.

    I LOVE the artwork you included in this post to express yourself, by the way. LOVE it.

  6. I think we've all been there, stuck in that reader hell. It's like being hungry, looking in the fridge and not seeing anything you want even though the fridge is filled to the brim!

    Interesting that it was Last Days of Summer that pulled you out of the slump. Another Kluger I'll have to try. :)

  7. Am so glad that you're over the reader's block. For a reader, it's a nightmare! As for the future, happy reading :)

  8. Tabz, those 2 weeks felt like a lifetime to me.:( The other two books I read were: 1 romance and 1 suspense romance. So, yes! I'm back on the romance-reading horse again. Yay!

    Christine! Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone starting this year in a slump. I'm sorry about your family-health crisis, you're a rock! Mine has abated somewhat, but it's not over yet. As long as I can keep reading, I can deal.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the artwork. I thought "The Scream" was perfect for how I felt at the time. *g*

    Leslie, two books by Kluger & 2 winners. What can I say? I still have 2 more to go, let's see how I like those. :) (Love your fridge analylogy, lol)

    Orannia, thank you for your wishes. I can only hope. ;D

  9. Wow, how devistating not being able to read would be for me also!! I am very glad you were able to break through it. I am saving up Nora Roberts Tears of the Moon, for just such an occasion.

  10. Jill, I don't wish it on anyone. Tears of the Moon is a wonderful book. NR's books are comfort reads for me & she usually helps me get out of slumps. This is the first time it didn't work for me, but she's usually my "go to" writer. :) Good pick!

  11. Yay for the reader's block being gone!!

    I know your pain, Hils. Nothing as bad and painful than a reader's slump T_T

    At least though, you had someone pushing you to buy books :D That won't happen ofter :P

  12. Thanks, nath. You're right! It doesn't happen often... the push to buy books from DH. I certainly took advantage. ;P

  13. I hate readers block. I'm never sure why it happens but I'm so damned happy when it goes away! lol

    Glad to hear that it's mostly over.


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